Twelve is composer and pianist Amina Figarova’s 12th
release as a leader, and the first on In + Out Records (2012). It’s a
suite of songs she wrote in 2011 after she and her husband, flutist Bart
Platteau, moved to New York City.
Figarova was born and raised in Baku, Azerbaijan. Throughout her career,
she has focused on original material. She’s also collaborated with
musicians from both the United States and Europe. The Amina Figarova
Sextet has performed at the Newport Jazz Festival, New Orleans Jazz and
Heritage Festival and has won critical and audience acclaim in Chicago,
Detroit, Paris and Amsterdam.
After Figarova and Platteau, the rest of the sextet is comprised of
Ernie Hammes on trumpet and flugelhorn, Marc Mommaas on tenor and
soprano saxophones, Jerden Vierdag on bass and Chris “Buckshot” Strik on
“NYCST” is a tightly synchopated track, featuring trumpet and flute in a
duet on the introductory melody. Platteau then takes point with
invigorating underscore by Figarova, Vierdag and Strik. After Figarova’s
solo, Mommaas steps in with the tenor sax, with Platteau and Hammes
pitching in subtly underneath. That sets up the ending flourish with all
“On the Go” is an upbeat, easygoing piece. Piano, drums and bass lay
down the moving rhythm, then the horns come in. The song is aptly
titled, as the melody and the solos give a sense of travel, whether
cruising about the city or taking a cross-country train ride. One can
almost visualize gliding above a meadow or rolling hills during the
flute break, or sightseeing when Figarova takes over.